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Abstract

The management of interferon (IFN) therapy for histologically severe chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1b (HCV-1b [F3]) is controversial. A decision analysis using the Markov decision analysis model was performed for 6 disease management strategies by using clinical data from a Japanese teaching hospital and available published data. The results of base case analyses showed that IFN monotherapy was considered favorable for patients aged 40 to 60 years with HCV-1b (F3). For the sensitivity analyses, to support the results of base case analyses, HCV-1b (F3) patient quality-of-life (QOL) score must be 0.5 or greater for those 40 to 50 years old and 0.4 to 0.5 or greater for those 60 years old. When patients with HCV-1b (F3) were judged as nonresponsive (NR) after IFN monotherapy, the transition probabilities of liver diseases at 40, 50, and 60 years of age had to be such that the progression of liver diseases was controlled at an annual rate of 7.51% to 8.82% or lower, 7.77% to 8.27% or lower, and 6.39% to 6.60% or lower, respectively, and the sustained virologic response (SVR) rate for IFN monotherapy must be 3.0% to 5.51% or greater, 5.57% to 5.93% or greater, and 10.6% to 11.21% or greater, respectively. It is likely that IFN monotherapy could be applied to patients with HCV-1b (F3) aged 40 years at a dose of at least 432 MU. However, IFN monotherapy did not appear useful for patients with HCV-1b (F3) aged 50 and 60 years if they had no amino acid mutation in NS5A 2209 to 2248 and HCV RNA levels exceeded 1.0 mEq/mL. In conclusion, use of decision analysis models can help in therapeutic decisions for patients with HCV-1b.